The typology and role of online information sources in destination image formation : an eye-tracking study
PublisherUniversidad de Huelva
AbstractThe construct of destination image and its formation are well researched. Numerous studies are conducted to investigate how destination images impact tourists‟ attitudes, behaviour and destination choice and what factors influence their destination image formation. However, much of this research focuses on post-visit images, and little is still known about the actual process of destination image formation as it unfolds, particularly prior to visiting a destination. Understanding this process of image development is meanwhile critical, as tourist numbers worldwide continue to grow. Destinations face fiercer competition, and their expanding image representations on the Internet are more frequently created outside Destination Management Organisations‟ (DMO) offices. This study attempts to shed light on a destination image formation process prior to visiting a destination. By triangulating click-stream, eye-tracking, questionnaire and interview data, the work explores the types of online information sources involved in this process and examines their significance for destination image formation.
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